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Since 2005, 133 projects have benefited from more than $6.5 million in Commercialization Gap Funds.

Application Process:

  1. 1) Disclose and Assign Technology
  2. 2) Contact Your C4C Tech Manager to Apply to the CGF Program
  3. 3) Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)
  4. 4) Obtain Customer Feedback
  5. 5) Submit Pre-Proposal
  6. 6) Screening Committee Review
  7. 7) Submit Full Proposal
  8. 8) Proposal Presentation & Review
  9. 9) Kickoff Meeting

STEP 1. Disclose and Assign Technology

The technology under development must first be disclosed to the UW Center for Commercialization (C4C), with rights assigned to UW. The disclosure should be made as early as possible so that C4C staff have sufficient time to evaluate the disclosure, determine any obligations of underlying funding, and assess IP rights before the deadline.

STEP 2. Contact Your UW C4C Technology Manager to Apply to the CGF Program

After disclosure, communicate with your C4C Technology Manager to discuss your project and what you may need to move it toward commercialization. Typically, funded projects already have a functional team that has been meeting with their Technology Manager regularly. Your Technology Manager and the C4C New Ventures team will assist you in the application process.

Team members available to help you structure your project and proposal will include the following:

  • Technology Manager
  • Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) or New Ventures Mentor (NVM)
  • CGF MBA Fellow
  • C4C Patent Agent and/or Trademark and Copyright Manager
  • Regulatory expert (optional)
Team members will meet with you frequently to help gather concrete market information, assess the competitive landscape, identify potential licensees (if it’s a licensing play) and conduct a patent landscape analysis. This team effort will lead to a strong, commercialization-focused proposal.

STEP 3. Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)

Letters of Intent will be accepted until 5:00 pm, Friday, August 15, 2014. Please submit your LOI to gapfund@uw.edu.

For help filling out the CGF Lean Canvas, please see the 2014 New Ventures Start-up Seminar Series YouTube channel: “Business Model Canvas” with Zachary Rozga.

Additional information on how to create your lean canvas can be found here.

STEP 4. Obtain Customer Feedback

We expect that teams will make direct contact with at least five potential customers during this step. Names, their affiliation, and specific feedback will be required in the pre-proposal. In this step, we have found it to be vital for the team to work as a unit to get the most value from customer interactions. We are adopting much of Steve Blank’s concept of a lean startup for this CGF cycle. Please visit his website. It is an incredible resource. The customer and feedback will be different for every project. We are looking for an understanding of the ecosystem surrounding your technology: who is the customer; who is the purchaser; who is the end-user? What thresholds or milestones would motivate the customer to change from their current practice to adopt your technology? What is the minimal viable product that might serve as a market entry point? What is the initial customer base?

STEP 5. Submit Pre-proposal

The Pre-proposal includes the following sections:

Please provide complete answers within the 4-page limit (References are excluded from the page limit):
  1. In five sentences or fewer, and in layman terms, please describe the core innovation you have created.
  2. What is the product you are working towards?
  3. How is the product unique? What advantages does it offer over the current offerings? How might a competitor seek to copy it?
  4. Who is the customer? Please list the ones you contacted in STEP 4 and their specific feedback.
  5. How large is the addressable market? Please quantify.
  6. Do you have a prototype? Completed solution? Describe where the technology is in its development. What still needs to be done after this funding to get to license and to get to market?
  7. Why is CGF funding necessary to advance this technology towards Commercialization? (i.e., but for CGF funding there is no other mechanism to move it forward.)
  8. Describe the current IP landscape. Are you aware of any potential conflicts with existing IP?
  9. Do you see this as a license to an existing company or as a new UW spin out? Why?
  10. If a spin out, what specific role (if any) would you want to play with the new company? Also, list the roles of anyone else participating in the company.
Pre-proposals will be accepted until 5:00 pm, Friday, September 19, 2014. Please submit your pre-proposals to gapfund@uw.edu. Pre-proposals are reviewed internally for compliance and alignment with the rules and goals of the CGF program. Any pre-proposal not conforming to the specific instructions on the form will be rejected. Applicants will be required to wait until the next cycle to resubmit. Unless the pre-proposal fails to comply with the rules above, all projects will advance to the Screening Committee Review, STEP 6.

STEP 6. Screening Committee Review

Each team will be required to participate in a pitch review session. Two dates will be available to schedule your presentation (September 30 & October 1.) Please mark your calendars. Come prepared to present a maximum 10 minute pitch of your technology and the commercial opportunity to a panel of EIRs and C4C experts. PIs must use the pitch template as a guide for preparing your presentation. You may prepare a single page handout to aid your presentation; however, absolutely NO slides will be allowed.

This pitch review session, in combination with your pre-proposal, will be used by the screening committee to determine whether your team is ready to continue in the CGF process. Committee decisions regarding whether or not your project has been selected will be sent via email within one week of the pitch session. Regardless of whether your proposal is accepted to move on in the process, the screening committee will provide constructive feedback for advancing the project development.

STEP 7. Submit Full Proposal

CGF full proposals will be accepted only from teams invited to submit a full proposal. CGF full proposals are due on Friday, November 7, 2014, by 5pm. Please submit your proposals to gapfund@uw.edu.

Full proposals include the following:

  • CGF Application Form (CGF-1) for each PI signed by the PI’s Dean and Chair
  • CGF Lean Canvas and revised pre-preposal (Based on feedback during the pitch review session, we highly encourage you to resubmit your complete pre-proposal with updated answers to the pre-proposal questions. If you do not choose to submit a revision, your original submission will be attached as part of your full proposal for the review committee’s reference.)
  • Executive Summary (1-3 pages)
    • Overview: Give a clear and concise overview of what your innovation is and why the reviewers should be interested in learning more.
    • Problem and Solution: Describe the solution that your innovation will deliver and the value that it offers to the customer. Don’t go overboard in describing the technology at the expense of adequately addressing the business opportunity.
    • Market
      • Describe minimal viable product.
      • Describe the market you will target.
      • Summarize customer feedback.
    • Competition & Differentiation
      • Who/what are the competitors in this space?
      • What differentiates you from the rest of the companies competing against you for market share?
      • How is the market fragmented and who are the big players?
      • Traction
    • Intellectual Property
      • Describe the intellectual property landscape.
    • Regulatory & Reimbursement (if applicable)
      • Include a plan with a clear path to clinical approval and payment.
    • Management Team
      • Briefly list team members.
      • Why are they the best possible team to achieve the next value-added milestone?
      • Identify key hires that could complete the team.
    • Technical Plan: With each milestone, include an argument for how it will add value.
      • Milestone 1 and associated activities
      • Milestone 2 and associated activities
      • Milestone 3 and associated activities
    • Needs/benefits of CGF support, including a plan to attract follow-on funding

      Any figures or tables MUST be included within the three-page limit. Any pages over the three-page limit will be removed and not considered. References are excluded from the page limit supplemental material.


      Formatting requirements for the Executive Summary and References:
      Font: Must be 11 points or larger. Type density must be no more than 15 characters per inch. Type may be no more than six lines per inch. Use at least half-inch margins (top, bottom, left, and right). Fonts for figure legends must be nine points or larger, and figures MUST be legible.

  • Supplemental materials (REQUIRED):
    • Measureable milestones and timeline for the project: Commercialization includes meeting goals in a timely manner. Please provide measurable milestones. A brief progress report documenting the successful completion of each milestone will be required prior to releasing the money for the subsequent milestone.
    • Budget worksheet and budget justification: The technology development budget is limited to $40,000. Prepare your budget accordingly. An additional $10,000 will be available for a milestone related to developing a scalable business model, and will be determined through discussions with the New Ventures team.
    • Funding worksheet: Provide a comprehensive list of all previous and planned funding for this technology. Provide the funding source (i.e., NIH, NSF, LSDF, Coulter, ITHS); the funding mechanism (i.e., RO1, SBIR, STTR); the dates of funding (for proposed funding estimate the date you expect to receive the funding); all funded milestones; and indicate whether each milestone was achieved. (You may attach additional pages for the funding worksheet.)

STEP 8. Proposal Presentation & Review

If your project reaches the final selection stage, you will have the opportunity to present your proposal in person to the final review committee, which is comprised of C4C and WRF staff, senior executives and venture capitalists. Dates & times for the final review are: Tuesday, November 8, 2014, noon-5pm (Life Sciences). Wednesday, November 19, 2014, noon-5pm (Engineering). Please mark your calendars.

STEP 9. Kickoff Meeting

Prior to disbursement of funds, the PI will be required to meet with the technology manager and a New Ventures representative to agree on the final, funded milestones. No money will be released until this step is completed.

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